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Letting GRATs Fail for Success

When to pull the plug on an underwater grantor-retained annuity trust.

If a 2-year grantor-retained annuity trust (GRAT) is to be successful at transferring wealth to its remainder beneficiaries, it must achieve significant positive returns in its first year; otherwise, its chances of success are staggeringly improbable. Indeed, in the last decade, most GRATs likely transferred significant amounts of wealth, considering that the U.S. stock market has seen positive returns in nine out of the last 10 years, averaging an annualized 10.7 percent return over that


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